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Lib Dems call for action to make companies address ‘ethnicity pay gap’

Tim Farron said the Equality Act’s requirement for collecting data on the gender pay gap should be extended to ethnic minorities.

Major employers need to monitor ethnic diversity in the workforce better, the Liberal Democrats have said.

Launching his General Election “battle bus” tour, party leader Tim Farron said the Equality Act’s requirement for collecting data on the level of female employment and the gender pay gap should be extended to ethnic minorities.

This would require companies with more than 250 staff to monitor and publish details of employment and wage differentials focusing on gender, ethnic minority status, and LGBT levels.

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Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron boards his battle bus (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Mr Farron said: “It is shocking that in 21st century Britain inequality that comes down to race still persists.

“Sunlight is always the best disinfectant and by bringing these gaps out into the open we can start to address the issue and speed up progress to create a more equal and fair workplace.”

Lib Dem former minister, Jo Swinson said: “The gender pay gap, and the drive to close it, is now recognised as an issue that government needed to intervene in to get positive change but other inequalities still persist in the workplace.

“It is clear that an ethnicity pay gap does exist but whilst organisations are allowed to get away with keeping patchy records the truth is we’ll never know the full extent of the gap.”

Mr Farron is making a campaign push through Scotland after insisting the Lib Dems could pick up “scores” of seats in the General Election.

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